Audit  Audit of the Berkshire Community College

The audit examined whether BCC accurately recorded and reported the institutional portion of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. The audit also reviewed if had required approval for all institutional-portion disbursements from HEERF I and HEERF II grants. The audit examined the period of March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: August 30, 2022

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of Berkshire Community College (BCC) for the period March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

In this performance audit, we reviewed financial activity from federal funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted by Congress on March 27, 2020; the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), enacted on December 27, 2020; and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, enacted on March 11, 2021. BCC received grant funding under two components of the CARES Act’s Education Stabilization Fund: direct funding from the United States Department of Education (US DOE), provided through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF),1 and funding from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (MDHE), allocated through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. The purpose of our audit was to determine whether BCC administered the CARES Act, CRRSAA, and ARP Act funding it received in accordance with the criteria established by US DOE and MDHE, as well as with its own student grant distribution method (see “Appendix”).

We also determined whether BCC complied with the Office of the Comptroller of the Commonwealth’s guidance by updating its internal control plan to address risks related to the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, we determined whether BCC personnel who had access to COVID-19 funding in BCC’s Colleague2 system completed cybersecurity awareness training in accordance with Sections 6.2.3 and 6.2.4 of the state Executive Office of Technology Services and Security’s (EOTSS’s) Information Security Risk Management Standard IS.010.

Below is a summary of our findings and recommendations, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1
 

BCC did not collect and retain adequate detailed documentation to support expenditures charged to federal funding it received for emergency support.

Recommendation
 

BCC should create and implement monitoring controls to ensure that all required supporting documentation for its federal expenditures is collected and retained.

Finding 2
 

BCC did not have the required approval for all institutional-portion disbursements from HEERF I and HEERF II grants.

Recommendation

BCC should create and implement monitoring controls to ensure that the required approval process for use of HEERF I and HEERF II funding is consistently followed.

Finding 3
 

BCC did not always ensure that its employees who had access to COVID-19 funding completed initial cybersecurity awareness training or annual refresher training.

Recommendation
 

BCC should develop and implement policies, procedures, and controls to ensure that its employees with access to COVID-19 funding complete an EOTSS-compliant cybersecurity awareness training program.

 

A PDF Copy of the Audit of Berkshire Community College is avilable here.

 

1.    The HEERF consists of three separate grants related to the 2019 coronavirus pandemic emergency that were directly funded from US DOE under the CARES Act (HEERF I), CRRSAA (HEERF II), and ARP Act (HEERF III).

2.    Colleague is the database system for BCC’s administrative activities, accounting, and student records.

Downloads

Contact

Feedback